This shows the terminals at Bussac, Rochefort, La Rochelle, and St Nazair. The dashed line shows the route the cargo took when it departed the west coast of France, headed to other areas in France, and on to Germany. The red dots show where the Trailer Transfer Points were located at.

One of the 106th Trans Bn 5 Tons after a traffic mishap on the narrow French roads.

I remember road testing one after I was only in La Rochelle a couple of weeks. It had the larger west coast style mirrors on it, and I made a wrong turn onto a narrow road. There was a couple of cars behind me, so I could not back up. I proceeded a little farther, and found the mirrors on each side just about touching the buildings. I had to pull the mirrors in to get enough room to drive through the street. A local guy saw the predicament I was in, and walked ahead of me to make sure nobody opened there front door till I got to a spot that I could get back on to a wider road. After that, I did all of my Road Testing in the Lapallice Pier area.

Off Loading a Ship at Rochefort

11th Transportation Terminal Command in La Rochelle

11th Transportation Terminal Command

La Pallice became a major NATO harbor from 1952-1966.

The decision to reestablish ComZ in France was governed primarily by the strategic position of this nation on the European continent.

From the end of World War II until 1950 all supplies for American forces entered Europe through Bremerhaven, Germany. This excellent port, situated on the North Sea, was quite adequate for the supply of an army in peacetime.

But the Berlin situation and the sudden aggression against Korea pointed out the potential vulnerability of Bremerhaven and the pressing need for an alternate and larger supply route.

On November 6, 1950, the French and American governments reached agreement under terms of which the United States was to organize, staff, and maintain a line of communications across France, thereby obviating the glaring vulnerability in the position of the western nations.

Five days later some 1,000 American technical service troops moved into France with 300 trucks, trailers and equipment. By mid-November, the first ships were being unloaded at Bordeaux and the new supply line was a going concern.

From that first small contingent, ComZ has grown into the vast network of planners, builders and operators it is today.

Battle commanders of World Wars I and II would never recognize the modern ComZ. It is a startling contrast to the infant supply organization begun 43 years ago by General John J. Pershing at Tours and nurtured by the Allied Armies under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II.

These initial efforts of the Service of Supply, dating back to 1917, result today in ComZ; a command geared to the highly modernized rapid supply of combat-ready troops, and the storage and delivery of a diverse range of equipment. The advent of new weapons, materials, and military concepts has brought about increased complexity, responsibility and stature to the Communcations Zone.

In contrast to earlier years, the supply of combat forces is now revamped to a point rivaling the efficiency and speed of any great American corporation. This operational magnitude and efficiency has been achieved by the hard work of ComZ personnel. The effective adaptation of electronic machines and devices has been introduced. New supply methods and techniques are constantly under development.

With new machines and new ideas have come specialized troops and units to handle unique phases of this vast supply operation.

Future military history will refer to units such as the Army Aerial Support Center at St. Andre, the Petroleum Distribution Command at Fontainebleau, and the Army Procurement Center at Frankfurt, Germany. All were pioneered by ComZ in the interest of faster, more efficient supply of combat forces.

Today, within minutes after an order is filed in Germany, it is recorded on a punch-card at the appropriate supply control agency in France, ready for processing by high-speed computers. These machines automatically indicate the location of supplies, prepare the necessary shipping documents, and perform all other bookkeeping details which formerly took considerable time to accomplish by hand.

Heart of the entire system is the 37th Transportation Highway Transport Command, peacetime heir to the famed "Red Ball Express" of World War II, whose round-the-clock supply of the advancing Allied armies blazed the trail in fast military supply operations.

Economy, Flexibility

The frazzled nerves and helter-skelter of the Red Ball have been replaced by a smooth, businesslike operation featuring much greater economies in fuel, manpower and truckpower, and which provide flexibility for unhampered conversion to full wartime footing.

The 37th THTC pioneered the "line haul relay system" in which a series of locally based trucks and truckers take turns pulling the same loaded trailer through separate legs of a longer haul, over roads where the Red Ball once made long cross-country dashes without changing rigs or drivers.

Thanks to the relay system, these truckers drive fewer miles per dispatch and are therefore, less susceptible to accidents as they become more familiar with roads and driving conditions encountered daily. The smaller operating radius also permits more thorough maintenance and better logistical support for units and personnel.

Perhaps an even more significant advantage of the line haul relay system is the greatly increased mobility given the entire supply line in this age of speed. Because of the compactness and constant state of combat readiness of the 37th THTC complete units and terminals can be moved in a few hours in event of war to keep the ground supply line intact.

The Early Days

La Rochelle's port at La Pallice was first used in a test in Aug 1952, in Operation "Over the Beach". It was to test the off loading of ships using Army Port operations, and to establish a port for a pending overland supply routes from western France, to Germany.

This is a list of units involved in this operation.

15th Trans Port Bn
55th Trans Truck Co (Petro)
78th Trans Truck Co
97th Trans Port Co
98th Trans Port Co
185th Trans Port Co
458th Trans Amph Truck Co
460th Trans Amph Truck Co
550th Trans Stagging Area Co
81st Engr Boat Co
89th Engr Port Const Co
687th Engr Water Supply Co
514th Ord Med Auto Maint Co
591st Medical Ambulance Co
759th Medical Detachment
529th MP Co
513th QM Bath Co

Tents were set up near the beach area for the units that were from outside the area. There were several other tents set up for the operations of the off loading, sorting, and shipping out cargo. Any repairs needed on the equipment was done at the newly established maintenance shop at Laleu.

The cargo was trucked to the area where the train cars were, and loaded there for transit to other areas in France, and on to Germany.

At a latter date, more units were moved to La Pallice to establish permanent facilities, and to also use over the road transportation of the cargo by Army Truck Units.

When the 77th Trans was a light truck company, they did cargo clearamce on the beach during the OTB operations.

M34 and M35 2 1/2 ton Trucks loaded.

This is where the units from other areas stayed
during the Over The Beach operations.

The lessons learned in the Over the Beach operation could be used in case of a need to increase the capacity of the over all system at a latter date to supplement the regular ports.

Ship being off loaded during "Over the Beach"

Early Nodex Operation in 1952, at La Rochelle VERY LARGE PDF file

(I am looking for ANY pictures of Laleu and Jeumont from the 50s-60s.)

When the pull out started

Recent Picture of Rochefort

This use to be the Rochefort American School

Some old pictures of Rochefort

Rochefort Arsenal, WWl time frame

11th Termamal Command, La Rochelle

Pictures of La Rochelle

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